Cheney compared the administration’s response after the September 2012 attack, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya, to the Bush administration after 9/11.
“In my past experience, when we got into these situations — especially after 9/11 — we were always there, locked and loaded, ready to go on 9/11,” Cheney said. “We have specially trained units that practice this sort of thing all the time. They are very good at it, and they are chomping at the bit to go.”
Republicans claim that the administration has not been forthcoming on all of the details of the attack, questioning the drafting of talking points and whether all forces in the region were deployed to protect American lives. Some GOP lawmakers have alleged a “cover-up.”
In addition to those claims, Cheney said the White House “ignored” intelligence that could have prevented the attack.
“They ignored repeated warnings from the CIA about the threat,” Cheney continued. “They ignored messages from their own people on the ground that they needed more security.”
The White House maintains it marshaled all resources available based on the intelligence it had at the time of the attack.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the agency was concerned that the preliminary talking points were edited because they went too far in assigning blame for the attack and would have been inconsistent with what the White House had said at that early stage.
The initial talking points blamed the violence on a spontaneous mob, with the administration later acknowledging that it was a planned terrorist attack.